Continental Airlines has expanded its mobile boarding pass service to London Heathrow Airport, becoming the first carrier to offer paperless boarding passes on non-stop flights from the United Kingdom to the U.S.
The service allows customers to receive boarding passes electronically on their cell phones or personal data assistants (PDAs) and eliminates the need for paper boarding passes.
“We are pleased to add Heathrow to the growing list of airports we serve with mobile boarding passes,” says Martin Hand, Continental’s vice president of reservations and eCommerce. “Customers have told us this is the type of product improvement they want, and we will continue to expand the self-service technology to more of our domestic and international destinations.”
Mobile boarding passes display a two-dimensional bar code along with passenger and flight information, which scanners at the security checkpoint and boarding gate validate. The technology prevents manipulation or duplication of the boarding passes and heightens security.
In addition to boarding passes, Continental provides access to enhanced flight information through mobile devices. Customers may view onboard amenities and standby lists, as well as track the status of their flights.
Continental was the first carrier to offer paperless boarding passes in the U.S., in a pilot program with the Transportation Security Administration that began in December 2007. The airline currently offers mobile boarding passes at 42 airports, including its hubs in New York, Houston and Cleveland. Continental was also the first U.S. carrier to offer mobile boarding passes from an international destination when it launched the service at Frankfurt Airport late last year.
The carrier operates five flights per day to Heathrow ― three from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and two from Houston. Continental recently said it would add a fourth daily service on the New York-Heathrow route in March and a fifth daily service in October, bringing the total number of Continental daily departures to Heathrow to seven. Continental also announced that from June 2, 2010, all aircraft scheduled for its Heathrow flights will feature new, flat bed seats in its BusinessFirst cabins.